Friday, May 18, 2007

Bureau of Justice Statistics Bulletin, By Lauren E. Glaze and Thomas P. Bonczar, BJS Statisticians

Summary findings
Probationers include adult offenders whom courts place on community supervision generally in lieu of incarceration.
Parolees include those adults conditionally released to community supervision whether by parole board decision or by mandatory conditional release after serving a prison term. They are subject to being returned to jail or prison for rule violations or other offenses.
At yearend 2005, over 4.9 million adult men and women were under Federal, State, or local probation or parole jurisdiction; approximately 4,162,500 on probation and 784,400 on parole.
The 0.6% growth in the probation and parole population during 2005 -- an increase of 31,626 during the year -- was more than a fifth of the average annual increase of 2.8% since 1995.
At the end of 2005 --
-- Among offenders on probation, half (50 percent) had been convicted for committing a felony, 49% for a misdemeanor, and 1% for other infractions. Seventy percent of probationers were being actively supervised at the end of 2005; 9% were inactive cases and 10% had absconded. -- Nearly all of the offenders on parole (94%) had been sentenced to incarceration of more than 1 year. -- Women made up about 23% of the nation's probationers and 12% of the parolees. -- Approximately 55% of the adults on probation were white, and 30% were black, and 13% were Hispanic. Forty-one percent of parolees were white, 40% black, and 18% were Hispanic.
Inmates released from prison as a result of a parole board decision dropped from 50% of all adults entering parole in 1995 to 31% in 2005, while mandatory releases based on a statutory requirement increased from 45% to 51%.
Forty-five percent of parole discharges in 2005 successfully completed their term of supervision, unchanged since 1995. Thirty-eight percent were returned to jail or prison, and 11% absconded.
By the end of 2000, 16 States had abolished parole board authority for releasing all offenders, and another 4 States had abolished parole board authority for releasing certain violent offenders.

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